Losing a loved one is an emotionally challenging experience. Unfortunately, most people find themselves pushed into dealing with legal issues while they’re still in the process of coping with their loss.
Navigating through the legal framework as you grapple with your emotions can be difficult, to say the least. However, there are certain issues that require attention eventually, such as settlement of the deceased’s estate.
To help you get through the process, here’s a comprehensive guide to probating an estate.
Collect Required Documents
Gathering estate planning documents along with other important documents is the first step to probating an estate. The estate planning documents, such as last will or testament, along with funeral, cremation or burial instructions, need to be collected and stored in a safe place until they can be handed over to an estate attorney. Other mandatory documents may include bank statements, bond certificates, life insurance, credit card bills, and more.
Open the Probate Estate
After sorting out the required documents, personal representatives are expected to open the estate with the probate court with the help of an estate lawyer. The documents are transferred to the estate lawyer, who then drafts the court documents required to probate the estate. The personal representative or executor reviews and signs the final draft.
Value the Deceased’s Assets
Date of death values of the deceased assets need to be filed within 30–90 days of the opening of the probate estate with the probate court. These assets include real estate and personal belongings such as, jewelry, artwork, valued gadgets, collectible items, etc.
Financial institutions, where the assets of the deceased are located, typically provide the date-of-death values.
Clear On-Going Expenses, Bills and Taxes
Any due bills or payments that the deceased individual owed at the time of death need to be paid off by the personal representative before the estate can be distributed. The personal representative is also responsible for resolving all income, estate or death taxes. In some cases, the executor may decide to sell the decedent’s assets to raise funds for clearing expenses.
Distribute to the Estate Beneficiaries
Once all the taxes have been cleared, the personal representative can distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. The representative may consult an estate lawyer for legal advice on distributions.
If you’ve been appointed as a personal representative or executor for a deceased loved one, you will need a probate bond before you can begin settling their estate. That’s where we can help!
BondPro is a trusted surety agency that provides reliable surety solutions in more than 50 states across the country. Our highly skilled bond agents use their extensive experience in surety underwriting to offer bonds that are both affordable and according to the surety needs of each client.
For a free online probate bond quote you can contact our representatives at 918 337 4100. Interested individuals can also get in touch with us via email at: